It is not enough to identify your ethos, target the customer profile and position your brand. You also need to think about how your brand comes to life.
Is it loud, energetic and the life of the party? Is it stable, reliable and reliable? Like people, each brand appears in the world in a unique way. Your brand persona is what it brings to life for your potential customers, not to mention your investors, partners, and current and potential employees. While your core values articulate the underlying beliefs that drive your brand’s behavior, your persona is how your brand actually behaves. It’s how your brand thinks, feels, speaks and appears in the world.
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The process of creating your brand persona requires deep thought and thought. It’s a level of self-reflection that actually feels a bit like therapy, and it’s worth working on. Once you’ve articulated the attributes that contribute to your brand’s persona and the primary elements of your brand’s voice, you’ll have a blueprint for every writer, marketer, product team, and designer that will impact your brand from now on.
The persona section of your brand book is the guide for your entire team to be consistently on-brand. That consistency is what ultimately builds brand loyalty and, ultimately, brand equity.
How to approach the persona part of your brand book?
Before attempting to merge your brand’s personality and voice, you must first have an understanding of your company’s ethos, your target audience, and the way your brand is positioned. Once these foundational elements of your brand are in place, it’s a great time to get your brand-building team together to run through the persona exercises below.
The fastest way to immediately put your brand personality and voice into action is to conduct a full content audit of all your channels and assets.
For startup companies, a brand’s persona is often a direct reflection of the founder or founding team. Therefore, make sure that the founding team participates in this exercise. You may also find it helpful to bring in the people who create content (like the people who power your social channels) or who interact most directly with your customers (like your customer support lead). Once this group is assembled, hand out a stack of ~100 blank index cards and a black Sharpie to each participant and go through the following exercise.
Excercise: Let your participants know that you will be asking a series of questions, and after each question, give them a minute to write down the characteristics that come to mind. Explain that attributes are words or very short sentences that describe a quality – good or bad (such as “trustworthy” or “brave” or “cares deeply”). They only need to write down one attribute per card.
Step 1: Ask each question below, pausing for a few minutes after each question to allow participants to come up with three to five characteristics for each.
How would you like your target audience to describe your brand?
- If you were to receive a major award or award, how would you like the person introducing your brand to describe you to the public?
- If your brand had an online dating profile, what features should it emphasize?
- Think about the person you admire most: how would you like them to describe your brand?
- If your brand was a person you met at a party, how would you describe them?